Airbus expects commercial planes demand to touch $4.9 tn

Le Bourget (France), June 16 (IANS/EFE) Passenger jet manufacturer Airbus expects the demand for commercial aircraft to touch $4.9 trillion in the next two decades.

A forecast by Airbus expects passenger traffic to grow at an annual rate of 4.6 percent until 2034. To meet the high demand, 32,600 more planes worth $4.9 trillion would be required, it said.

While passenger traffic in Europe and North America is expected to grow at 3.8 percent annually, in developing countries the annual growth rate is pegged higher at 5.8 percent.

Consequently, China is set to overtake the US and become the largest aircraft market in a decade.

Meanwhile, military aircraft Airbus A400M was the centre of attention on Monday at the inauguration of the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget.

The aircraft performed demonstration flights hoping the restrictions imposed on its operations since an accident in May in Seville, Spain, are lifted soon.

The opening at Le Bourget, the world’s biggest air show, was marked by two flights by A400M in the presence of French President Francois Hollande, who showed his support to a programme that has faced hiccups since the disaster on May 9 that killed four people.

A400M has continued performing test flights despite the order of suspension of operations for aircraft in production.

According to Airbus, the military transport aircraft crash did not hamper negotiations for the sale of commercial airplanes.

A spokesperson said experience showed that accidents did not affect business operations.

The contracts signed on the first day of the show validated this claim.

Airbus confirmed the sale of 60 modernised versions of the A320neo family to the aircraft financing and leasing company, GECAS.

Indonesian airlines Garuda also signed a “letter of intent” for 30 units of the new Airbus A350, a contract that could be worth close to nine billion euros ($10.2 billion).